Wednesday, June 29, 2005
[div] tags messed up my blog. But, it's now patched up and running again.
Am I - a lazy blogger, at the best of times - fed up with Blogger? Yes. Will I leave Blogger in a huff? Er, probably not for the lazy blogger reasons mentioned above.
In the meantime, isn't it great that you can now post pictures straight from Blogger?
Er, no. I could already do that cause of my Blogspot Plus account.
I'll get back to blogging here soon. Meanwhile, I haven't stopped posting here.
Monday, June 27, 2005
I'm reading Richard Girling's "Rubbish" ("Be scared, be very scared. But, be sure to read this book. - Ben Elton, who has written some pretty scary - or awful - books in his time.).
Every hour, the UK produces enough rubbish to fill the Royal Albert Hall. [Insert joke here about Eric Clapton - or whichever has been rocker - and filling the Royal Albert Hall.]
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Forget the hype. Pump up the hype!
Timmy Henman blows. Andy Murray conquers all!*
Er, our new tennis hero has made it to the third round. Guess in about ten years time, Murray will be bowing out as the next new British hope graces the lawns of Wimbledon.
* -well, an intimidated Czech. Hey, it's a start.
PS - what about them Nats?
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
NEW BALLS, PLEASE
It’s that fortnight of the year again when Britain goes potty over Tim Henman only for the poor lad to fail abysmally. Wimbledon – game on!
Well, I come in defence of Timmy.
Tim Henman is by far the best tennis player that this country has produced in decades. Look at his record. He’s won 11 ATP ranked tournaments. He has been as high as No.4 in the world. His match record at Wimbledon is 40 wins, 11 loses. Last year he appeared in two Grand Slam semi-finals.
Okay, he’s never won a Grand Slam tournament and I highly unlikely to do so. Yes, I get fed up like everyone else with the absolute silliness that goes on this side of the Channel whenever he plays.
However, ignore all the crapola and you’ll see that Henman is a very good grass court player. He’s good on hard courts, but poor on clay. Even at 30 years old (ancient by modern tennis standards), his game is still together. He will probably make it as far as the quarter-final this year. That’s not great, but the consistency of his game is something to admire. That he plays through hyped-up expectations every year at Wimbledon shows a great deal of mental fortitude.
We could do without this stoopidity:
"Tim can win Wimbledon. I think he's capable of beating anybody at Wimbledon, even Federer." - Goran Ivanisevic
Yeah, I’ll have some of those drugs too, please.
Good luck to the lad. However, you’ll hear no shouts of “C’mon Timmy” from this blog. And spare a thought for Andy Murray, who might even be the real deal.
Monday, June 20, 2005
SOUTH BANK, MATE? NEVER HEARD OF IT
London cabbies take to the streets in game of Monopoly
Players register free at the website here They are given a £15 million capital to spend on properties such as Gatwick Airport or Nottinghill Gate. They then put hotels and houses on their chosen properties. They then pick their playing piece, such as a mobile phone or bus as well as one of the 18 cabbies taking part in the game.
Just don't expect them to go south of the river ;-)
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Today - the hottest day of the year (33° in the garden) saw the first harvest of potatoes in our small vegetable garden. I lifted a few from one of the container plants and several more from one in the vegetable bed. Gave me a lot of pleasure even if it was small pickings and only potatoes. It's the first time I've grown potatoes and I'm surprised anytime I can get anything to grow be it alfalfa in a seed sprouter or strawberries in a container.
This is a cross post: also here
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Thursday, June 16, 2005
Nicked from Yorkshire Soul, by gum.
Top Five Lyrics that Move Your Heart
As most others have done, I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a great song lyric fan.
1. I have no idea what the words mean, but Sigur Ros's "svefn-g-englar" moves me.
2. "Two Step" by Duluth miserablists Low.
3. Todd Rundgren's self-absorbed "Hello, it's me".
4. "Tears are in your eyes" - Yo la Tengo.
5. "Wharf Rat" - Grateful Dead: odd choice I know.
Top 5 Instrumentals
Ok, as I can make up the rules, I'll leave out classical music, otherwise I'd probably have to fill three spots with Beethoven symphonies (minus the 9th which of course has lyrics).
1. "Fracture" by King Crimson, preferably on one of the multitude of live releases and with the bass mix turned way up.
2. "Ten Day Interval" Tortoise complete with at least three vibraphones. (in fact you could choose any track on "TNT".
3. You could pick any number of Mogwai tunes as they eschew lyrics for the most part. But I chose by a short nose over "New Paths to Helicon Part 1", "Superheroes of BMX". Though you can find it on the "Government Commissions", BBC sessions album, I urge you to search out the original single version.
4. Another all instrumental post-rock outfit - Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I chose the final track from "Yanqui UXO".
5. The whole of "Ocean Soings" by the Dirty Three.
Top 5 Live Musical Experiences
1. Godspeed You Black Emperor! In a church in Baltimore, sometime late in 2000. Quite the right atmosphere to hear their thunderous music. The lack of heating, seating or booze was outweighed by an awesome set.
2. eels, Queen Elizabeth Hall, June 2005. I know it was only a few days ago, but this was one of the most perfect concerts I've witnessed.
3. Again in Baltimore, a tiny club I don't remember, but Yo La Tengo were superb. Just the right ambience and a stellar set.
4. A Proms concert from way back when. Vaughn Williams fifth symphony.
5. It's tough to chose the fifth. I could go for Mogwai's first US gig at Washington's Black Cat club, a couple of Chicago Underground Duo gigs (Washington, again, and a hot night at the Spitz in London), Peter Gabriel at Stony Brook University (the first live gig I saw) or Do Make Say Think (again at the Spitz). But, Low at the Union Chapel in Nov or Dec 2001 wins.
Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To
1. The Czars - smooth as velvet voice, heartfelt lyrics.
2. Glenn Gould - late Canadian pianist whose interpretations of Bach are unique and challenging.
3. Country renegade Steve Earle.
4. Yorkshire's folk-hopsters, Hood.
5. Stereolab. Groovy Anglo-French popsters.
Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish
Whatever that means...
1. "Officium" - Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble. Beautiful devotional music accompanied by saxophone. Sounds a odd mix, but I urge you to buy this record.
2. Very new, so not sure it will stand the test of time, but "blinking lights and other revelations" by eels is already one of my albums of 2005.
3. Led Zeppelin III
4. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" - Genesis (well, one prog rock effort had to squeeze in there and it wasn't going to be "Tales of Topographic Oceans"!)
5. "Grace" - Jeff Buckley. Every song a cracker. Why did he go swimming in that river?
Top Five Musical Heroes
1. Robert Fripp. King Crimson guitarist from the group's inception in 1969, occasional solo artist. His Frippertronic concerts are not to be missed.
2. Thijs van Leer. An early hero. Keyboard player, flautist, vocalist and yodeller (!) with Dutch 70s prog-rock group Focus.
3. I'm making up the rules again. This time I'll include classical composers. So, J.S. Bach fills one spot.
4. Luke, who steered me in the new musical directions.
5. Norwegian jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek, despite the near new age veerings, has produced some sublime, dark and wonderful music.
Top 5 intros
1. "World in Motion" - New Order & Kenneth Wolstenholme
2. "Love Reign O'er Me" - the Who/Quadrophenia
3. The clunking of the car door and digitised voice from Kraftwerk's "Autobahn"
4. "Gimme Shelter" - the Stones
5. Marvin Gaye - "What's Going on"
Top 5 songs that take me right back
1. "Mr & Mrs Jones" - Billy Paul (I used to have thing for Philly Soul)
2. "Roxanne" - the Police (oh dear)
3. Shame-faced, I admit it: "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John
4. "Hocus Pocus" by Focus
5. "Body Talk" - Imagination. One of my flatmates at uni used to dance rather over-enthusiatically around our kitchen to this.
Top 5 Cover Versions
1. Just about thing done by Yo La Tengo - the ultimate cover band - most bizarre of which is "Nuclear War" by fruitbat/hatstand Sun Ra.
2. "Feerless" - the Floyd tune re-worked by Low
3. Oasis - well, everything is a rip-off of the Beatles isn't it?
4. "Cortez the Killer" - Built to Spill's epic version of the Neil Young dirge.
5. janis Joplin's version of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee"
Friday, June 10, 2005
FROM THE FRONT LINE
My taxi driver put the foot to the metal and blasted through the cool Belgian air; ripping up the autoroute into Europe's heart at 130 clicks.
On each side of the motorway stood armoured vehicles. Euro soldiers casually dragged on Gauloises. Some were maintaining their weapons, ready to repulse the rioting Europhiles angered at Mr Blair's betrayal.
Yes. It's blogging from the front line, sitting in a dugout across the street from Berlaymont, the centre of the great experiment. Barricades are up. There's tension in the air. Eurocrats wear dark blue bandanas, clutching AK-47s, WWI daggers, lumps of euro-concrete, shards of glass from the damaged Commission institutions.
Only the incongruous AOR ooze-ing out of speakers mounted in the ceiling betray the feel of war, nay revolution.
Vive l'Europe. Long live the Constitution. Pass me another Leffe.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
WEB PORN (HOT LICKS)
Stealing an idea from quirky must read daily, hot and sexy Bears Will Attack (Paris Hilton’s favourite blog – perhaps), I am a donut is pimping for web hits.
Mr Bear’s Wednesday entry concerned an alleged bear attack in Harrisonburg, Virginia (Is it pronounced Virginny? Close to virgin, methinks.) He (or they) comment on how this incident will pile up the google hits for the blog. And, goes on to go the whole google pimping way with references to the aforementioned Paris Hilton, Paris Latsis (who he, she, it?), the French Open tennis, Deep Throat (now available on DVD?), Karen Elson (nude pictures?), Washington Post, Lords of Dogtown (some movie, probably available on DVD in Chinatown) etc.
Never one to be google-whacked, the forward thinking pimp editors of I am a Donut, thought why not copy this excellent self publicising (in a Paris Hilton sort of way). Perhaps the Lords of Dogtown will watch the French Open tennis on DVD whilst thumbing through nude pictures of Karen Elson.
Sit back and wait for the (hot and sexy) hits.
Lots of Love
I am a Donut
P.S. – fear not reader(s), we’re not forsaking our dedication to all things Åland.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Å STORM IN A TEA CUP
Forget the Olympic Games bids, latest news from the Åland Islands - the Donut's adopted rock in the Baltic - concerns the 2009 Island Games. Big controversy between Guernsey and candidateYnys Mon (that's Angelsey to you and me).
From the Guernsey Press:
IT’S four years away, but our best sportsmen and women should be nervous as to where they will have to go for the 2009 Island Games.
The men in suits who run the International Island Games Association are showing further signs that they are getting their priorities wrong ahead of the vote as to where the XIIIth Games will be staged.
Aland, excellent hosts in 1991, are vying with Ynys Mon [Anglesey] to stage the event.
In terms of climate and facilities, the Scandinavians are surely firm favourites to win the vote.
Take that North Welsh people:
...the track and field competition could be held 30 miles away in mainland Wales as Ynys Mon does not have athletics facilities...
I am sure that the Falklands, too, could benefit from improved sporting facilities, but will the Games ever go to the deep South Atlantic? Not on your nelly.
Surely the potential of a warm week in a pretty Scandinavian island at a time when there would be close to 24-hour daylight, will attract the best possible athletes to the biennial event?
Aled Roberts, Anglesey council´s head of leisure service hits back:
"...We do have an athletics track, it is just our changing rooms, spectator seating and car parking are not adequate for the volume demanded by the games. We can certainly succeed to stage the games, and do so in less grand facilities, if needed."
Take that Mr Sweater!
All a storm in a tea cup:
...Guernsey’s Island Games Association vote by a narrow margin to back Ynys Mon’s bid to stage the 2009 event...
We'll be following the vote of the other 24 islands with great interest.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Exhibit :: "B", m'lud.
Evolution :: primates
Loser :: Beck, innit
Hypnotic :: op-Art
Unlikely :: humility from Michael O'Leary
Interrupt :: butt-in
Ambivalent :: eh, whatever
Rise and fall :: of Reginald Perrin
Indian :: summer
Prophecy :: ouija board
Monday, June 06, 2005
EXTRA CELEBRITY SPOTTING
Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) was hanging around, looking very talk and raggedy at the Tortoise gig the other week. (Bought his new CD today.)
No picture of Mr Tet. But here's the heroes in a half shell from an earlier gig.
OPEN WIDE AND SAY Å
I am a donut celebrates today our first visitor from the Åland Islands (N.B. dig the crazy mullet).
However, we don't think that this map is quite right with the location.
Looking forward to the Alandia Jazz Festival.
Update: somehow, I think Statcounter has got a slight database problem. That flag looks suspiciously like Azerbaijan, tying it in with the map.
Anywho. We're still going to celebrate the Åland Islands here at I am a Donut. We're thinking of booking ahead for the 2009 Island Games - the Nationwide Conference (or Pacific Coast League for those on the left side of the Atlantic) of the Olympic Games.
Bet you didn't know that the Åland crisis was one of the first adjucated by the League of Nations.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
GO ON, YOU'RE DYING TO KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO
Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven's 2nd and 3rd from the complete 9 Symphonies collection.
The latest platter from Chicago post-rock icons, Tortoise, "It's All Around You", is probably their most accomplished work to date. And, it's got a nice cover.
Terry Riley's seminal minimalist piece "In C" is performed by New York avant garde specialists, Bang on a Can. "In C" has become somewhat a trademark piece for this group.
They're big in the US, but both unknown and dismissed back in London. Bush are a unique UK take on the post-Nirvana heavy rawk scene. "The Science on Things" was huge stateside. Bet you never heard of it over here.
Ah, now we're getting bonkers. Time for Mr Twin and Mr Ziq. Richard D James (akak Aphex Twin) locks horns with mu-Ziq, says Michael Paradanis on his passport to create a lush little disk of sweet laptop tunes.
Baltimore Portland Brooklyn based label Temporary Residence produce an quixotic series of EPs a couple of years ago. This one's called "drona parva". I think Parva is the name of the group. Who cares: great ambient drone.
Squeak! It's Mice Parade! With guests Jim O'Rourke etc. "Collaborations" is a series of - er - collabirations with nerdy collaborators.
I very nearly went to a Pearl Jam gig back in about 2000. But, I didn't fancy having to take binoculars to spy Eddie Vedder's long locks. Here's "Ten": more classic rawk, nineties style.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
MICRO CELEBRITY SPOTTING
At the golf last Friday, apart from polyster clad golfers, sporting celebrities on show included new Celtic manager Gordon Strachan (boy, he's short), Irish rugby hooker Keith Wood (no neck) and Phil Babb (who?).
In Sainsburys on Saturday we spotted that salt of the earth geezer out of TV's "Hustle" - you know the programme with Robert "I voted Bush and last of the Magnificent Seven" Vaughn which gives the BBC a bad name. The geezer whose a sort of low rent "Minder" character. Anyway, nice to see him queuing like everyone else with his soda bread and Pellegrino.